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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Volf, J., & Volf, M. (1997). A Spacious Heart: Essays on Identity and Belonging (Christian Mission and Modern Culture). Valley Forge: Trinity Press In 

The rebirth of a person by the Spirit is nothing less than an anticipation of teh eschatological new creation of God, a gathering of the whole people of God and of all the cultural teasures that have been dispersed amoung the nations. By teh Spirit , that future universal event becomes a concrete reality in each believer. 43

The exclusion of teh other is an exclusion of God. 49Forgiveness is an outrage against teh logic of exclusion... 57

The spirit of embrace creates communities of embrace - places where the power of the exclusion system has been broken and from where divine energies of embrace can flow, forging rich identities that include the other... 60


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Wright, N.T. (2006). Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. SanFrancisco: HarperSanFrancisco 

But what does it all mean? Here recent generations of Western Christians have taken a drastic w
rong turning. Faced with an increasingly secular world all around, not least with denials that there is any life at all beyond the grave, many Christians have seized upon Jesus' resurrection as the sign that there really is 'life after death'. This just confuses things. Resurrection is not a fancy way of saying 'ring to heaven when you die'. It is not about 'life after death' as such. It is, rather, quite straightforwardly, a way of talking about being bodily alive again after a period of being bodily dead. Resurrection is a second-stage post-mortem life: life after 'life after death'. If Jesus' resurrection 'Proves' anything about what happens to people after they die, it is that. But, interestingly, none of the resurrection stories in the gospels or Acts speaks of the event proving that some kind of afterlife exists. They all say, instead: 'If Jesus has been raised, that means that God's new world, God's kingdom, has indeed arrived; and that means we have a job to do. The world must hear what the God of Israel, the creator God, has achieved through his Messiah.'pp98

From that point of view, as the Eastern Orthodox churches have always emphasized, when Jesus rose again God's whole new creation emerged from the tomb, introducing a world full of new potential and possibility. 99

the world's evil - then clearly there is indeed a task waiting to be done The music he wrote must now be performed. The early disciples saw this, and got on with it. When Jesus emerged from the tomb, justice, spirituality, relationship and beauty rose with him. Something has happened throug Jesus as a result of which the world is a dif-
ferent place, a place where heaven and earth have been joined for
ever. God's future has arrived in the present. Instead of mere echoes,
we hear the voice itself. a voice which speaks of rescue from evil and
death, and hence of new creation.

Ot is about becoming agents of God's new world - workers for justice; explorers of spirituality., makers and menders of relationships, creators of beauty


three options of understanding God

pp 188

This is the launch-pad for the specifically Christian way of life. That way of life is not a matter simply of getting in touch with our inner depths. It is certainly not about keeping the commands of a distant deity. It is, rather, the new way of being human, the Jesus-shaped way of being human, the cross-and-resurrection way of life, the Spiritled pathway. It is the way which anticipates, in the present, the full, rich, glad human existence which will one day be ours when God makes all things new. Christian ethics is not a matter of discovering what's going on in the world and getting in tune with it. It is not a matter of doing things to earn God's favour. It is not about trying to obey dusty rule-books from long ago or far away. It is about practising, in the present, the tunes we shall sing in God's new world.



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